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Describe the structural compartmentation of mammalian cells and the differing functions of these compartmentations

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´╗┐Kate Hanshaw Describe the structural compartmentation of mammalian cells and the differing functions of these compartmentations. The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of all known living organisms. All cells have a membrane that envelops the cell, separates its interior from its environment, regulates what moves in and out and maintains the electric potential of the cell. Inside the membrane, a salty cytoplasm takes up most of the cell volume. All cells possess DNA, the hereditary material of genes, and RNA, containing the information necessary to build various proteins such as enzymes. Cells have organelles that are adapted to and are specialised for carrying out one or more vital functions Mammalian cells are eukaryotic cells. Eukaryotic cells contain membrane-bound compartments in which specific metabolic activities take place. Most important among these is a cell nucleus, a compartment that contains the eukaryotic cell's DNA. This nucleus gives the eukaryote its name, which means "true nucleus?. There are several types of organelles in a cell. ...read more.


The inner membrane is covered with stalked particles, which are the site of ATP synthesis and further increase the surface area of the mitochondrion. The structure of mitochondria varies between cell types. In a metabolically active cell such as the liver the mitochondria are larger and more numerous and the cristae are more prominent than would be in a fat cell. Ribosomes are the smallest and most numerous of the cell organelles and are the sites of protein synthesis. They are composed of protein and RNA and are manufactured in the nucleolus of the nucleus. Ribosomes are either found free in the cytoplasm, where they make proteins for the cell?s own use, or they are found attached to rough endoplasmic reticulum, where they make proteins for export from the cell. Ribosomes are often found in groups called Polysomes. All eukaryotic ribosomes are of the larger ?8OS? type. Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum (SER) is a series of membrane channels involved in synthesising and transporting materials, mainly lipids, needed by the cell. ...read more.


The Centrioles are a pair of short microtubules involved in cell division. Before each division the centriole replicates itself and the two centrioles move to opposite poles of the cell, where they initiate the spindle that organises and separates the chromosomes. Microvilli are small, finger-like extensions of the cell membrane found in certain cells such as in the epithelial cells of the intestine and kidney, where they increase the surface area for absorption of materials. Microvilli are well-adapted to the function of absorption due to their rich supply of blood vessels which allows a steep concentration gradient to be maintained. Microvilli are particularly important in the process of glucose absorption, which eventually provides the cells with metabolic energy for survival. In Conclusion, the structure of the mammalian cell and the organelles it contains has evolved to become highly specialised and adapted to a particular function. The differing functions of each cell and each organelle means that cells are dependent upon each other to provide substances and carry out functions which other cells can no longer perform due to the process of differentiation. However, this allows body systems to work efficiently, aiding survival. ...read more.

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